A lot of people hear the words Lantern Control and immediately think of a deck where you control your opponent using Lantern of Insight. Those people are wrong. Lantern Control refers to the strength of will required to be able to stare into the endless void of heat and light that emanates from a fully lit lantern and be able to arise from the experience with mind and spirit unbroken.

EX: It will take a lot of Lantern Control to be able to view an undisturbed vision of the future in the mysterious fires of the lantern without losing one's mind in the process. "What seemed like hours had passed, but in reality it had been mere seconds. Robby looked up from the lantern, fire dancing in his eyes, and a slight smile crossed his lips. He had demonstrated Lantern Control and now he possessed ancient, forbidden knowledge."

In this article, I talk about when to gaze into the fiery abyss of a Lantern, such as to see important visions of faraway events or to see even-more-important visions of even-more-faraway events. I also discuss different matchups for Lantern Control and how to beat them. The most common matchups for Lantern Control so far have been losing one's own mind to the voices of the fire, failing to correctly interpret the visions found in its all-knowing flame, or falling victim to the fate of the unavoidable prophecy. These are all favorable matchups for a master of the Lantern Control archetype. A master of Lantern Control never wavers in their resolve...however, they will frequently waver under the pressure of the time clock or when facing a deck consisting of a mixture of powerful threats and versatile answers en route to dropping at 1-3 in a local event.

Last week I wrote part one of a guide to exploring Lantern Control and how it handles some of the most common matchups in Modern. Well, Modern is way too vast for a single guide like that to suitably tackle every matchup likely to be encountered. Back by "popular" demand, I've compiled part two, featuring even more Modern decks one might stumble into at an event and how to approach those matchups.

Bogles

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Leyline of Sanctity (sometimes)

Sideboard: Leyline of Sanctity, Stony Silence, Gaddock Teeg, Seal of Primordium, Rest in Peace, Suppression Field (rarely), Disenchant (sometimes), Kataki, War's Wage (sometimes)

Plan:

Game 1: Get Bridge into play and get hellbent. That's all. If they have Leyline of Sanctity in play to stop Codex Shredder and are ahead on cards, use Academy Ruins to loop artifacts so they mill first.

Sideboard: Play Ensnaring Bridge, protect it with Pithing Needle on Seal of Primordium, Keep Gaddock Teeg off the table, stay hellbent. Stony Silence doesn't actually matter if you can accomplish those three things. The reason Gaddock Teeg must die is because he prevents Whir of Invention from being cast, which can get stuck in hand and cause you to lose to one-power creatures even with a Bridge in play. Ghirapur Aether Grid is an alternative win condition through Stony Silence if they don't have a Leyline of Sanctity in play and is a method to killing Gaddock Teeg, Kor Spiritdancer, and other possible problems like Kataki, War's Wage.

In:

2 Abrupt Decay
1 Pithing Needle
1 Pyroclasm
1 Nature's Claim
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid

Out:

1 Witchbane Orb
1 Grafdigger's Cage
3 Thoughtseize
1 Pyxis of Pandemonium

Ad Nauseam

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Spoils of the Vault, Angel's Grace, Ad Nauseam, Phyrexian Unlife, Lightning Storm, Laboratory Maniac, Sleight of Hand

Sideboard: Leyline of Sanctity, Hurkyl's Recall, Disenchant, Grave Titan (or other creature-oriented threats)

Plan:

Game 1: This is one of the few matchups where Ensnaring Bridge does not matter, at least for an extended period of time. You may eventually need one to clean up a rogue Simian Spirit Guide, but otherwise it is irrelevant. There are a number of ways to win game one. The easiest is to use hand disruption coupled with the Lantern lock to prevent them from assembling Ad Nauseam plus either Angel's Grace or Phyrexian Unlife to draw their deck and then win. The other way is to rid them of ways to win the game, even if you are unable to control them from drawing the deck. They have two ways to win the game. One is to cast a lethal Lightning Storm at your noggin, and the other is to get a Laboratory Maniac in play, have no library, and then attempt to draw a card.

It's possible to just rid them of their ability to win the game through sheer luck via blind milling Lightning Storm and Laboratory Maniac with Codex Shredder and Pyxis of Pandemonium, which you should do at every opportunity. Hitting enough Simian Spirit Guides could also render them without the resources to kill you the turn they Ad Nauseam their deck. Lightning Storm can also be stopped by both Pithing Needle and Witchbane Orb, meaning that if you happen to mill over their more robust win condition in Laboratory Maniac, you can pretty easily seal the deal with a Pithing Needle or Witchbane Orb.

Sideboard: Here, the plan muddies a bit, as they have access to Leyline of Sanctity to mess up your hand disruption and Lantern lock, as well as some anti-artifact measures like Disenchant or Hurkyl's Recall. Ensnaring Bridge regains some relevance as cards like Grave Titan can steal games if unprepared. I think it best to just hope they don't lead on Leyline of Sanctity and leave in all hand disruption because of how important it is against them. Even though cards like Pithing Needle and Witchbane Orb can shut down Lightning Storm, if they end up going through their deck with Ad Nauseam, they can just Disenchant the offending artifact before winning. Best is to just try to keep them off Ad Nauseam rather than try to cover every possible way to win once they do. Surgical Extraction is a high-variance card that can nab an Ad Nauseam to hamstring them if lucky or else can be used to Diminish their odds of going off by taking an important piece like Angel's Grace or Phyrexian Unlife if Ad Nauseam is not an option.

In:

1 Ancient Grudge
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Search for Azcanta
1 Nature's Claim

Out:

2 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Pithing Needle
1 Witchbane Orb

Jeskai Tempo/Control

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Snapcaster Mage, Geist of Saint Traft, Spell Queller, Cryptic Command, Logic Knot, Electrolyze, Opt (sometimes), Vendilion Clique (sometimes), Search for Azcanta (sometimes)

Sideboard: Jace, Architect of Thought, Negate, Engineered Explosives, Disdainful Stroke (sometimes), Dispel, Abrade (sometimes), Vendilion Clique, Stony Silence (sometimes), Runed Halo (sometimes), Ceremonious Rejection, Wear/Tear

Plan:

Game 1: They have a lot of dead or weak cards in the first game. There is a high density of removal spells or burn spells that can sometimes add up to threaten your life total, but do nothing by themselves. Cryptic Command is generally the only main deck card that can deal with a resolved Ensnaring Bridge, so the game plan is mostly to get a Bridge in play through countermagic like Logic Knot or Spell Queller and then keep them from ever using Cryptic Command or Snapcaster on Cryptic to punch through. Sometimes it is necessary to take Geist of Saint Traft with hand disruption just to buy time to get set up, because of how fast of a clock it is and how much pressure it can present in combination with burn.

If you have extra artifacts or mana, cast Whir of Invention for two-plus, even if you are going to just search up a zero or one-mana artifact. That way it cannot be countered by a Spell Queller, since its converted mana cost would be at least five. As a general tip, casting Whir for three or four can Lull your opponent into thinking you are getting a Witchbane Orb or Ensnaring Bridge, allowing you to actually trick them by getting something like Pithing Needle to blow them out. Once they allow Whir to resolve, they cannot stop Pithing Needle from shutting out a card, as Needle is not a trigger, but rather an "as it enters" ability and cannot be responded to.

Sideboard: Sideboard games is where it gets tricky. They can still apply quick pressure with Geist of Saint Traft, but they also possess a lot more disruption in these games. Dispel or Disdainful Stroke can handle Whir of Invention. Negate and Ceremonious Rejection are upgrades on irrelevant removal spells. Engineered Explosives can take out a Lantern lock or Ensnaring Bridges. Sideboard planeswalkers like Jace or sometimes Ajani Vengeant can push through the Lantern lock or take over a game.

Search for Azcanta is one of the best cards against Jeskai, as it allows you to match pace with their sweltering numbers of disruptive elements and dodges much countermagic. If this matchup was a huge part of my metagame, I would play multiple copies of Search for Azcanta. It took me a long time to learn that Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas isn't great against them. It is easy for them to counter, dies to burn spells and can make it hard to get low enough on cards for Bridge to shut out Geist of Saint Traft. One Pithing Needle after sideboard can be a lifesaver against Engineered Explosives or random planeswalkers. I usually leave them with random situational Counterspells in hand when I throw hand disruption their way and instead take threats or more universal answers. You can play through the counters.

Abrupt Decay is an answer for random permanent hate like Stony Silence, but it is also really, really good against Ben "Spell" Queller.

In:

2 Abrupt Decay
1 Search for Azcanta

Out:

1 Witchbane Orb
1 Pithing Needle
1 Pyrite Spellbomb

Eldrazi Tron

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Walking Ballista, Endbringer, Thought-Knot Seer, Karn Liberated, Chalice of the Void, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger (sometimes), Sanctum of Ugin, Sea Gate Wreckage

Sideboard: Ratchet Bomb, Surgical Extraction (sometimes), Sorcerer's Spyglass (sometimes), Pithing Needle (sometimes), Thorn of Amethyst (sometimes)

Plan:

Game 1: The biggest key in the first game is to just ensure that Chalice of the Void does not enter the battlefield, as a Chalice of the Void with X=1 early enough in the game is basically game over. It is nearly impossible to establish the Lantern lock through it, having to Whir for each piece, and it also shuts out important cards like Pithing Needle.

Beyond the early Chalice subgame, it becomes important to get an Ensnaring Bridge in play to lock out Reality Smashers and other Eldrazi horrors from quickly slaying your life total. Eldrazi Tron has a lot of weak cards in the face of an Ensnaring Bridge, and they only have a handful of ways to draw cards at instant speed, between Mind Stone, Relic of Progenitus, Dismember on Matter Reshaper, and occasionally a Sea Gate Wreckage activation, which means that the Lantern Lock is quite effective against them. Pithing Needle is primarily for shutting out Endbringer and Walking Ballista, two creatures that are effective even through an Ensnaring Bridge. It can also shut out Karn and sometimes limit their options by naming cards like Relic of Progenitus or Sea Gate Wreckage to gain better control over their draws.

Generally speaking, though not always, it's right to just let them assemble their mana as much as they want, because they can't use it effectively like a traditional Tron deck can. Keep them off relevant threats instead. Sanctum of Ugin is scary because it can turn otherwise dead cards like All Is Dust into an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. For that reason, sometimes Expedition Map is a powerful draw, even late, because it threatens a Sanctum of Ugin.

Sideboard: The game plan is the same, only they now have Ratchet Bomb as an answer to Ensnaring Bridge or parts of the Lantern lock. If forced to play a Pithing Needle without knowing their hand, Ratchet Bomb is a good name because of its immediate threat on the game and how quickly it comes down. Post-board games get less scary on the early turns because Chalice of the Void is less fatal, thanks to answers like Decay and alternative threats like Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. Nature's Claim stays in the sideboard because it can't touch a Chalice on 1.

In:

1 Ancient Grudge
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Pithing Needle
2 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

Out:

1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Witchbane Orb
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Mox Opal
1 Mishra's Bauble

Infect

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Noble Hierarch, Viridian Corrupter (sometimes), Jace, Vryn's Prodigy (sometimes), Spellskite (sometimes)

Sideboard: Viridian Corrupter, Nature's Claim, Spell Pierce, Dispel, Spellskite

Plan:

Game 1: Infect is a tough matchup. They represent lethal quickly, you have little instant-speed disruption and infect creatures attack through Bridge unless you're totally hellbent. The good news is that most lists, barring a few that play a couple copies of Viridian Corrupter, have no interaction for you either in game one. Keep hands that get Bridge into play fast and get out of cards quickly. Hand disruption is great against Infect to buy time or to get hellbent by targeting yourself. Once hellbent with Bridge, the game is not over as they can still win with Noble Hierarch plus pump spells. Finding Inventor's Fair and then using the Lantern lock to keep them from lethal pump is the easiest way to beat this, although Pyrite Spellbomb looping until they run out of protection is also an option.

Sideboard: They still don't have that much disruption, outside of a few soft counters and some artifact hate cards. The game plan is to still get hellbent quickly with a bridge in play and hope not to die turn two or three in the meantime. Cards like Abrupt Decay aren't actually great against them because it plays into their protection spells and Spellskites and makes it harder to empty the hand.

In:

1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
1 Pyroclasm
2 Welding Jar

Out:

1 Witchbane Orb
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Pithing Needle
1 Whir of Invention

Green-White Elves

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Devoted Druid

Sideboard: Kataki, War's Wage, Aven Mindcensor, Reclamation Sage, Fracturing Gust (sometimes), Stony Silence (sometimes), Aegis of the Gods (sometimes), Lead the Stampede (sometimes)

Plan:

Game 1: Getting hellbent with Ensnaring Bridge and finding a Pithing Needle for Ezuri, Renegade Leader should seal the deal. They can't attack through bridge except with Devoted Druid, and Devoted Druid will only deal damage if Ezuri is capable of pumping it after attacks.

Sideboard: The game plan remains the same, only now they have access to cards like Reclamation Sage, Kataki, and Aven Mindcensor. Grafdigger's Cage raises in importance now that shutting out Chord of Calling and Collected Company are much more important to keep them off their hate. They also might have Stony Silence or Fracturing Gust, which makes hand disruption and the lantern lock more relevant than game one.

In:

2 Abrupt Decay
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
1 Pyroclasm

Out:

1 Pyxis of Pandemonium
1 Witchbane Orb
1 Mox Opal
1 Mishra's Bauble

Eldrazi and Taxes

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Leonin Arbiter, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Eldrazi Displacer, Tidehollow Sculler, Flickerwisp, Thought-Knot Seer

Sideboard: Aven Mindcensor, Stony Silence, Kambal, Consul of Allocation (sometimes), Gonti, Lord of Luxury (sometimes)

Plan:

Game 1: They have a lot of disruptive cards, but ultimately their deck is all creatures, so getting Ensnaring Bridge into play and then keeping it in play is nearly always enough to win. Early on in the game, Thalia and Leonin Arbiter are both problems for getting Bridge into play and getting low enough on cards to make it effective. Oftentimes, sniping these cards with discard early is important to buy time to get established, even if these cards are very beatable late.

They have two ways to beat Ensnaring Bridge. One is looping Thought-Knot Seer with Eldrazi Displacer in your draw step to mill you out. This can be interrupted by Whir of Invention for Pithing Needle at instant speed, although Leonin Arbiter can hinder or prevent this option. This can also be beaten by using Codex Shredder to mill over Pithing Needle and then buy it back again with the Shredder.

The other is to loop Flickerwisp with Eldrazi Displacer to remove all your Bridges and then attack for lethal. Pithing Needle for Displacer is key. Keep in mind that they can also perform the trick of using Flickerwisp to remove a Bridge from the game and then play a Wasteland Strangler using the exiled Bridge to permanently remove it.

Sideboard: Same game, only now they also have Stony Silence among other annoyances.

In:

2 Abrupt Decay
1 Nature's Claim
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
1 Pyroclasm

Out:

2 Whir of Invention
1 Witchbane Orb
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Pyxis of Pandemonium

Jund Death's Shadow

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Liliana of the Veil, Stubborn Denial, Abrupt Decay

Sideboard: Ancient Grudge, Liliana, the Last Hope, Hostage Taker, Maelstrom Pulse, Kolaghan's Command, Snapcaster Mage, Kataki War's Wage (sometimes), Ceremonious Rejection (sometimes)

Plan:

Game 1: Pithing Needle on Liliana of the Veil. Get as many Ensnaring Bridges in play as possible to stretch thin their artifact destruction cards, which are few and far between. They don't main deck Snapcaster Mage, so they usually only have anywhere from one to four relevant cards to blow up a Bridge in game one.

Sideboard: Things get hateful after sideboard. They are a Traverse the Ulvenwald deck, which means that sideboard bullets like Kataki, War's Wage or Hostage Taker are now real threats. They also get access to Ancient Grudge. Every Lantern Control player has learned over time that Werewolves hate collars, especially Avacyn's Collar, which, little known fact, is the symbol of her church. Lot of folk don't know that.

Much like against Grixis Death's Shadow, getting lots of Bridges in play and then sitting behind those Bridges while weathering the hate is still the plan, only that it is possible to control Jund's draw steps way more than you can with Grixis Death's Shadow, making the Lantern lock a relevant consideration part of the plan. I haven't played this matchup enough to be fully confident in this sideboard plan, but I do think trimming on hand disruption is important to find room for enough card advantage and protection without ruining the number of Lantern lock pieces we have access to.

In:

2 Welding Jar
2 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
1 Search for Azcanta
2 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Abrupt Decay

Out:

1 Witchbane Orb
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Codex Shredder
1 Pithing Needle
3 Thoughtseize
1 Mox Opal

Merfolk

Relevant Cards:

Game 1: Cursecatcher

Sideboard: Hurkyl's Recall, Dispel, Ceremonious Rejection, Spell Pierce

Plan:

Game 1: Ensnaring Bridge. They can't beat it.

Sideboard: Leyline of Sanctity shuts down Hurkyl's Recall from targeting you. It seems like an odd card to board in, but it completely blanks their best card. Beyond that, just navigate through their countermagic and Ensnaring Bridge still beats them.

In:

2 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
1 Pyroclasm

Out:

1 Witchbane Orb
1